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Where is iconic Springbok captain John Smit now?
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Where is iconic Springbok captain John Smit now?

John Smit will always have a special place in the history books of Springbok and South African rugby.

Smit, of course, captained the Springboks to their 2007 Rugby World Cup triumph, a crowning achievement in a glittering career, and in total led the national side in 83 games.

He remains by far the most capable Springbok captain of all time, with Siya Kolisi next in line with 53.

In total, he made 111 appearances for the Springboks, currently fifth on the all-time list. He led the Springboks to two Tri-Nations titles (now the Rugby Championship) and a series win over the famous British & Irish Lions in 2009.

Domestically, Smit spent the majority of his professional career with the Sharks, making almost 200 appearances in all competitions, making him one of the most capped players in the franchise’s history.

His leadership was a constant for the Sharks, and although they did not achieve ultimate success during his tenure, they did reach the finals of both the 2001 Super 12 and 2007 Super 14.

The hooker, who also moved into a role at tighthead prop, had a brief spell with Clermont in France, while finishing his career with Saracens in England.

John Smit, a true Springbok great, is now a successful businessman

After retiring in 2013, Smit took over as Sharks CEO from 2013 to 2016. He was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame on 24 October 2011 and in April 2018 was elected to the SA Rugby board as a player representative.

The former Springbok captain now serves as Group CEO at SSG Holdings – a company that provides security, facilities management and cleaning solutions to the South African market.

“John joined SSG in February 2019 and brought substantial business experience combined with a winning team approach to our group of companies,” his company profile said. “A natural leader, John has quickly earned the respect and trust of the SSG team and has aligned the company for sustainable and responsible growth through an innovative and clear strategy.”

New venture

Smit recently spearheaded the launch of Avante, a proud VSOP brandy made in the Cape. It is described as a “well-crafted Cape pot still brandy, distilled from the finest quality wine and blended in a cognac style to offer something unique as a product”.

He also played a key role in selecting fourteen other initial investors, former and current international rugby stars.

In addition, Smit is known as a broadcast analyst for SuperSport, while he is a much sought-after guest speaker at various events.

He is also passionate about a number of philanthropic endeavors, including “Barney’s Army,” the affectionate name given to the John Smit Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping those in need.

Family man

Smit has been married to his wife Roxanne for almost twenty years and has three children.

His Instagram bio reads: “I used to play rugby and am now raising my three beautiful children with my amazing wife!!!”